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Rigel granted patents in immunology, virology and oncology.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (South San Francisco, CA) has been awarded 29 patents since February 2004. Specifically, Rigel was granted six patents in immunology, five patents related to its ubiquitin ligase technology, four patents related to hepatitis-C (HCV), six patents in oncology, four patents towards its library screening technology, and four patents in Fluorescence- Activated Cell Sorter (FACS) technology. Rigel is ranked as one of the top 15 biotech companies in the February 10, 2006 San Francisco Business Times' annual listing of the largest biotech patent recipients in the San Francisco Bay Area, based on the number of patents assigned in 2005.

"Rigel remains on the forefront of ligase research, and has significant research and development expertise in immunology, virology and oncology where we have been identifying and developing novel, small-molecule drugs," said Donald G. Payan, M.D., executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Rigel. "The large number of patents we have received over the past year exemplifies our productivity in these key disease areas."

Of particular interest are several broadly enabling patent estates that have been issued to Rigel and cover key areas of drug discovery. These include:

Rigel's ligase patent estate includes five issued patents and one allowed patent in the United States. The patents cover methods for identifying and/or measuring ubiquitin ligase activity in any disease state and screening for agents that modulate their activity using any of the major enzymes in the ligase pathway as well as particular enzymes. This means the patented subject matter covers screens using any ubiquitin activating enzyme, any ubiquitin conjugating enzyme or any ligase as the drug target. Rigel has had two major collaborations based on these proprietary screens.

Rigel has several issued patents covering screening for antiviral agents where IRES (internal ribozyme entry site) is the drug target. The IRES controls viral translation and protein synthesis, making it an important drug target.

Rigel's FACS patent estate covers patents issued in both the United States and Europe. FACS assays are used to investigate gene expression and characterize a given drug's impact on diseased or healthy cells, and are capable of measuring multiple parameters at one time. Rigel's patents cover FACS assays that measure a minimum of three parameters, which affect different disease states such as cancer and allergy-related disorders, and the cells' response to drugs.

Rigel is pursuing opportunities to license these patent(s) to potential partners that are working in these areas.

Rigel is a clinical-stage drug development company that discovers and develops novel, small-molecule drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, cancer and viral diseases. Our goal is to move one new product candidate for a significant indication into the clinic each year. We have achieved this goal since 2002. Our pioneering research focuses on intracellular signaling pathways and related targets that are critical to disease mechanisms. Rigel's productivity has resulted in strategic collaborations with large pharmaceutical partners to develop and market our product candidates. We have product development programs in inflammatory/autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thrombocytopenia, and asthma and allergy, as well as in cancer.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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Publication:BIOTECH Patent News
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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